Pet International Health Certificates

If you intend to travel internationally with your pet, please notify us as soon as possible so that we can assist you in navigating the requirements required for a seamless travel experience! Please see the details below prior to booking an appointment.

dog at the vet

Ridgefield Veterinary Center

International Health Certificates


At Ridgefield Vet Center, we offer International Health Certificate services for both our clients and non-clients whose regular veterinarian may not offer this service. Dr. Mathews is a USDA accredited veterinarian, and also brought her pets overseas with her when she moved, so she has a great deal of experience in this area. We recognize that traveling or moving with your pets overseas can be very stressful, and we do our best to make our end of the process as seamless as possible.

How the process works:

Traveling internationally with your pet requires a great deal of paperwork and preparation. Some countries have long timelines and specific test and treatment requirements . Before you consider traveling with your pet, please visit the USDA’s website for comprehensive information and requirements for each country:

Once you have gathered all the necessary paperwork and have your flight booked, we make the appointment for the physical examination of your pet (s). Typically this appointment is booked 10 days before your flight. This 10 day window gives the USDA plenty of time to endorse the health certificate and also meets the airline requirements for physical exam before flight. However, every airline and country has different requirements, so make sure to double check with both the USDA website AND your airline prior to booking your appointment.

Once we have done the physical exam and verified that all the paperwork is in order (rabies certificates, required tests, etc), we will then submit everything to the USDA using the VEHCS portal. Once all the paperwork has been submitted, we then have to wait for the USDA to review everything and endorse the certificate. This can be a long and sometimes stressful wait, but we will update you as we hear back from them. Following endorsement, the certificate is either sent by FedEx overnight to your home or sent to you via email (country dependent).

Pet travel services:

There are companies who handle all the details of pet travel for you, which can take some of the stress out of traveling overseas with your pet. We especially recommend using one of these services if you are moving overseas or taking multiple pets. Be careful to read reviews closely, as not all services are created equal, and you often get what you pay for.


Make sure you have purchased an airline-approved carrier for your pet. For dogs flying in cargo, you will need a hard-sided crate which is USDA and IATA approved. For dogs flying in-cabin, you will need to purchase a soft sided carrier that will fit under the seat. Make sure to acclimate your pet to their carrier for several weeks prior to the flight, so they feel safe and comfortable during their journey.